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Respondus LockDown Browser now available for Blackboard

Posted by on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 in Features, Resources, Tip.

respondus-logo-2The Vanderbilt academic community has access to a useful online testing tool for the 2015-2016 academic year. The Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard during online quizzes and tests. When students use Respondus LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading. The tool is available for Windows, Mac, and iOS

Students whose professors require Respondus for testing have several ways to access support. Students can view the CFT’s Student Guide, or they can view the Respondus Student Guide, computerview a short video, submit a help ticket to Respondus, or email Blackboard support at the CFT ( If students do not have a laptop capable of downloading the Respondus LockDown Browser, the library has several Respondus-equipped laptops available to check out (3 in the Central library and 3 in the Science library), or students check out a non-equipped laptop and temporarily download the browser themselves.

If you are faculty interested in using Respondus, the Blackboard team at the CFT is available to work with you via email, phone or in a one-on-one consult. We have a Respondus LockDown Browser – Instructor Guide available as an on-demand resource as well. If you decide to use the browser, we will also provide you with a Respondus LockDown Browser guide that you can post in your Blackboard course to walk students through the download process. At the end of the fall 2015 semester, the CFT will debrief any faculty who have used the tool to evaluate its potential applications and compile an even more thorough list of tips and tricks. Please email us at to get started.

Best practices for the use of Respondus LockDown Browser in Blackboard

The Respondus LockDown Browser will not be right for everyone, but for instructors giving in-class exams on computers, for example, it is a very useful tool. Here are some of the key tips faculty need to know before getting started:

1.  When students are taking tests outside of the classroom such as at home or in another unmonitored space, they can use a second computer or a mobile device to conduct internet searches or take pictures of the testing screen, thus rendering the LockDown browser less effective.
DO use to provide an extra layer of security in monitored tests


DON’T use in unmonitored situations
2. This tool should be used in conjunction with the University’s honor code to encourage academic integrity and trust between students and faculty.
DO talk about academic integrity and the Honor Code with your students


DON’T allow the tool to create a culture of suspicion in the classroom
3. The LockDown browser can interact in unexpected ways with students’ various operating systems, ad-blockers, and malware detection software. Make sure students are aware of the potential problems and have practiced with the browser beforehand to ensure they will be able to use the browser properly in class during a test.
DO create a practice quiz with unlimited attempts for students


DON’T expect the tool to work perfectly the first time